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DesertShadowX

Random Battle Crash Course

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Good day, welcome to perhaps my first thread (and hopefully not my last.) 

This guide is for people who don't play random battles or other PvP modes more than necessary either because it is frustrating because you are constantly sunk (like me at first,) or because you feel intimidated about switching to live player opponents after playing against bots for so long. Don't get me wrong, some of this helps in co-op too, but mostly what I write is according to lessons learned in ranked and random battles. Understand that although I provide some advice for cruisers or otherwise, my specialization, love, and joy in the game is playing aircraft carrier. Many tactics vary from nation to nation slightly, but often rules of thumb apply universally to all ships of a category. Since I play mostly carrier, I will appreciate POLITE feedback on other classes that would be helpful to, say, your fellow DD players. Who knows? maybe you are a fellow CV player who knows a trick for Carriers that I didn't.

Also a few basic tips on what are good ideas to do:

Research your vessel before using it. No two ships are alike, and what might be a good tactic on a seemingly similar vessel might be a very bad idea in another one, sometimes even from the same tech tree and line. There is a massive and friendly community of which some of them have made it their life's work to help you use your favorite vessel effectively.

Learn tactics such as armor angling in which you keep your ship at an angle that is hard to penetrate with armor-piercing rounds. by keeping some ships at a 40 or so degree angle, you can downright negate large amounts of damage. The angle might be more or less depending on the vessel, and there are many where it is best to just not be on the receiving end at all.

Memorize your ship's optimal role and use it for that. Setting up a captain properly to compliment your vessel's strengths is also part of this.

If someone outright flattens you with your favorite ship or favorite ship line, politely ask them about their technique and then adopt it as your own. I do this even with how many thousands of battles I played because there is always room for improvement, and yes,  I still am sometimes terrible at ships that I call my favorite. Many players will happily tell you how to play more effectively, but be prepared for some sarcasm and a few jokes too, particularly when asking about the French tech tree.

When you have repair team consumables time your repairs. sometimes they will repair more damage later if you take a little more than now, and giving you more total HP in the long run, plus keeping you alive much longer in a brawl if that is your playstyle when you successfully  hit the sweet spot between too early and too late. 

Also, because there are some mighty careless players out there, but into chat, "Torpedoes away!" when launching long-range torpedoes that can go far if they miss. Then it is not on you if a teammate is not paying attention and you were honestly aiming for that battleship.

Some common mistakes I have watched be made and often made myself that are equally punishing to all types of vessels before I go into type-specific gameplay are:

1. Giving the opponent the first shot: in random battles while you are learning the ins and outs it is best to think of yourself and those around you as penguins. the first player into the thick of the battle is almost always the first to die, regardless of class. This is often because players are hard-wired to fire at and attempt to sink the first enemy contact spotted in the battle. By being the first into battle without any support you expose yourself to a monsoon hailstorm of HE fire from all directions as well as endless assault from carriers, who like to single out lone players and sink them before they can get close enough to the main group to receive AA/fighter support. Also keep tabs on where destroyers are. If you are spotted and go around the corner of an island to where a destroyer is, 99% of the time they have already locked onto you and calculated the lead AND fired torpedoes that will hit you. Thus,  I must emphasize especially with torpedo-armed opponents that it would be best to avoid giving them the first shot. I have even lost tier IX-X teammates instantly to this mistake, so it is best to be aware that in the heat of the moment it is a huge temptation that I am guilty of as well but it can totally be avoided. To avoid this, Carriers are your best friend. If you don't know and need to, a carrier can spot any enemies or smokescreens which are telltale to either the presence or recent presence of a destroyer. if there is a smokescreen have a vessel that can use hydroacoustic search.

2. going up against opponents that are simply a bad matchup. What is a downright bad matchup varies from ship to ship, but usually a specific stat when high on a vessel leads to a bad matchup that will only end in frustration. When you have such a matchup it is best to ask for help from a teammate who has a better suited vessel for the job. This is the main purpose of the, "Concentrate fire," emote on the emote wheel.

3. Going it alone: Again, I can't emphasize enough that players like to single you out. Understand by telling you this as a CV player I am hindering myself, but by sticking with the team you can concentrate fire on problem targets better, make it harder for carriers to even touch you, and overall generally live longer. Plus you get a better variety of consumables as part of a team that can help the whole team out in a wider range of circumstances.

4. Overburdening the Carrier: flanking both right and left is good when there are two or more carriers, but if there is only one they will usually choose when possible to support the main group. However, if you don't eliminate High-AA targets from the enemy battle group, there is still nothing the CV can do to help you, and odds are the enemy carrier is not in the same boat. but if you do eliminate them and make sure there is only one group to keep track of, you might be surprised at how much more often the team as a whole can win.

5. On the opposite end not letting the carrier do its job. It's job is primarily flushing out enemies that are in positions that give them the advantage, such as flushing out that destroyer round the bend with rockets and bombs. It can't do its job, however if it can't see the target. That is where yet again hydroacoustic search comes in. Another of the carrier's jobs is sinking stray vessels. If you sink the High-AA cruisers first your life will be easier since the carrier can then help you sink everything else. Finally it's third task is preventing the other carrier from flushing you out of advantageous positions or sinking your stray vessels, and it can't do that when you are all spread out all over the place, unless there are multiple carriers on your team.

6. Ignoring teammates: this usually happens at tier V-VII mostly, but when you ignore a teammate's plea for help or request for fire on a target that they see as a threat, and don't even respond with a, "Negative!" and then list what you see as the real threat, you slice your odds of winning to almost nothing. Every ship lost without necessity is a leap towards the enemy winning in terms of points lost and gained, and also one less source of supporting fire that the enemy team might still have.

7. failure to communicate with your team. You could notice something that no one else did, and vice versa. if you see something, say something.

8. Showing your broadside. You are super easy to hit and sink with a single salvo in most vessels when you show your broadside, especially when you have a gargantuan citadel such as with Russian battleships. However, I do realize that you have no choice with some vessels such as the Izmail  where all but 3 of your 12 cannons must be fired in broadside postion, or not fired at all.

Destroyers: destroyers specialize in stealth with ambushes on problem targets or sneaking up on them. Many except the French destroyer line carry smokescreen generators, in fact most do. Some have Hydroacoustic search which makes them useful for spotting and eliminating other destroyers. though having no citadel they are extremely vulnerable to high-explosive fire.

Basic roles include capturing a point first, scouting, eliminating other destroyers, and, yes, torpedoing battleships when they are targets of opportunity.

When you have a smokescreen you can use it to rescue vessels on low health to prevent points from being lost and also to conceal a large-scale ambush. Also, when in a smokescreen, or otherwise not already spotted, for goodness sake TURN OFF YOUR AA! I can't begin to count how many destroyers I managed to sink only because their AA guns ratted out their position, oh, and also some skilled players can track you from the patterns in the AA you fling even when they otherwise can't see you, and also when you fire your main battery. However, if you are currently detected I recommend you turn your AA back on since leaving it off won't help you, and a carrier will still track your position.

The two stats to memorize for enemy vessels as this class are secondary battery performance and primary battery rate of fire. If the opponent has long-range secondaries (such as the Bismarck, whose secondaries spread across an entire capture point,) consumables to memorize would be which opponents have surveillance radar and/or hydroacoustic search since both withong a certain radius even across from islands can render all forms of concealment useless. DO NOT let such enemies get close. Stats to memorize for allies: concealment and AA since even the most powerful DDs have comparatively weak AA when compared to other vessel types. Between that and Destroyers usually being the ones to sneak up on and sink carriers, an experienced CV will really have it out for you.

Cruisers: cruisers vary a ton, with some being pocket-battleships, others being AA platforms, and some being overgrown destroyers. First and foremost study your cruiser before using it. Learn what it is good and bad at.

A different country line means a different role, which means what exactly you will be doing depends on your ship's country.

Overall, stick by the nearest battleship from the start of the game until death do you to part, especially since parting means death for both of you. Your HE fire with most cruisers against most battleships can set fires to enemy battleships and torpedoes can sink brawlers if you have them. The overlapped AA, (Especially when you or the battleship is American,) typically means that an experienced CV will give you a wide berth, and an inexperienced one will get deplaned. using high-explosive you can also very quickly sink destroyers, the biggest threat to the battleship, while the battleship sinks other battleships, the biggest threat to you. It is a symbiotic relationship between you and the battleship.  Sometimes It might be a good idea when there are a lot of destroyers to guard your carrier instead, and their planes can spot the enemy for you. with a good rate of fire in such situations the destroyers can often become virtually free kills for you.

The most important stats to memorize are usually your own, but one in particular would be your shell ballistics. if you fire flat with high penetration use armor piercing against other cruisers, if you have a high arc you can actually fire over islands with high explosive rounds to destroy AA on battleships and set fire to them. due to this, I would say memorize the stats of each opponent you will face and memorize which ones are the biggest threats to your team that you can reliably eliminate. That's right, though you start of playing cruisers, they can actually be the most complicated of the types to play in the long run because there is so much to keep track of.

Battleships: As a battleship you are the head of the battle. You destroy everything in your path when you play it right but are the first one to sink when you are careless, because you are one of the greatest threats.

Pretty much every battleship has the job of fighting it out with cruisers and other battleships. Armor-piercing rounds are great  for hitting the citadels of other battleships or cruisers, but you tend to do so little against destroyers that it is best to leave them alone and let the everyone else who is better equipped for dodging torpedoes and HE spam do their job which is sinking the destroyer.

Some tips are learn whether or not your battleship is most accurate at long, short, or medium ranges with it's main battery, and whether or not your secondaries are effective. A long range battleship tends to have high caliber guns that can land at least 67% of the salvo past 16 kilometers. A medium range battleship is a battleship that can land hits in the citadel of your opponent from 8-15 Kilometers and either has a large number of guns or high caliber.. A short range battleship, AKA a brawler, tends to have small caliber guns that are few in number, but often armor layouts and secondaries of a brawler make it so that the vessel when played right can dish out large amounts of damage to multiple opponents. With abilities such as, "manual fire for secondaries," combined with powerful secondaries, along with cruiser support, you can have your secondary cannons autofire on a destroyer or british cruiser while you focus all your attention on the targets that are your job, such as other battleships. Also time your emergency repairs, since you will draw a lot of fire and being on fire will quickly become a state of being, but it hurts a lot more to be down a main gun or be double flooding than to simply be on fire. 

The single most important stat to memorize on opponents as battleship is torpedoes. When a battleship is sent to a watery grave 85% of the time torpedoes or torpedo bombers are the cause. Even some battleships can torpedo you, so it is important before brawling to identify whether or not the opponents are simply going to knock you out of action like you never existed with torpedoes. enemy consumables to memorize would be AA booster or launch fighters. If you are brawling with an opponent that has those, odds are you will not receive effective, (if any,) carrier support until they are sunk.

Aircraft Carriers

Each country's carrier tech tree is wildly different in planes, plane armament, and otherwise performance, but the key principle of what you do is the same. A loss of a carrier usually puts a player at a huge disadvantage unless A. your team is entirely American vessels moving as a battlegroup, in which red's carrier's plane will disintegrate the moment you see them, or B. the other carrier is sunk as well. Due to this, staying alive is your top priority. Second, though officially you have unlimited planes, you actually don't, and in the average length game you essentially have a total number of planes able to be deployed that is roughly equivalent to the historical air group of the carrier, they simply can't be deployed, (and lost,) all at once, so keeping your planes alive is still very important. Select your targets carefully. If you can single out a lone kawachi then it is your priority target.

Memorize the AA stats of opponents: it is best to generally target vessels with the fewest flak guns. If there is a vessel that is in your way, use the concentrate fire emote to signal to your team that the particular vessel in question has too strong of AA for you to approach. If a player says, "I need intelligence Data!" scout for them and make sure that there is not an ambush waiting for them. If you do somehow get cornered by insane AA, recall your planes and bail out if you can. One of your roles at the start of the game is scout since losing one plane (I know what I just said,) is still less costly than losing an entire ship. Also memorize general armor layout. otherwise you might end up frustrated when you attack a vessel that you just can't penetrate.

As I said before, your second job is flushing out problem targets while if possible preventing the other carrier from doing the exact same thing. Also, bombers take priority over fighters, so your fighters usually won't protect your offensive planes in many situations. If your planes are cornered by fighters it is best to recall your planes immediately if the other carrier gets the drop on you rather than waste your own fighters and still risk losing your own attack squadron. If there is a destroyer, use rocket planes to sink them when possible. 

Again, since your second job sink stray vessels do that after providing fighters to your team when necessary.

Finally, positioning is crucial. Keeping from getting spotted is key. Early on find a spot to hide, but eyeball the minimap. If your team loses track of enemy destroyers for too long when there are fewer ships left, it might be best to get close to the main battle so that it is not as easy to single you out. Also get moving mid to late game to help capture points. Another reason to get a little closer later game is, since there are fewer ships and usually less AA, by being closer to the battle, again, you aren't as easy to single out and also you can redeploy squadrons of planes faster along with providing what is usually the most powerful AA in the match to your team. Your time to redeploy and reach the target is essentially your, "fire rate." it can take a full minute just to drop a handful of torpedoes when you are launching from across the map but when you are too close to the target at the same time you have to actually move away from the target to make enough room to launch an attack run, which will cost you in time, planes and possibly your ship. Finding a sweet spot between too close and too far is key. 

Finally a trick you can use to force an enemy to show their broadside to your team is launching torpedoes in which they either take the torpedoes or the hit to the broadside.

Finally, practice and play a lot of battles. Experiment with different tech trees and see which one you like the most, and which one you perform the best with.

I hope this helps people who are wanting to start with Player-vs-player.

 

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